Till next time, Charlie.

I guess you and I got off on the wrong foot.  You were not very friendly and I was not very patient. However, destiny put us together and later we discovered that we were meant for each other.

All charles1those years of getting up at 5.30 in the morning to go training made our bond stronger. We liked being the first ones to arrive and have all the training court for ourselves. When we were alone, you would perform all the exercises with an incredible happiness and energy. However, when the training court was filled with more people and their dogs, doing the exercises stopped being fun. Instead, training became a stressful and, sometimes, a scary activity.

I totally understood you since we had a lot of things in common. One of those things was that we never liked being surrounded by people or crowds, and being social was not one of our strengths.  Nevertheless, I still believed we could do something great one day. One of my dreams was to participate in a competition in which we could be alone, with no other dogs, so we could prove our real talent. A talent that most of the times was hidden because of fear of being close to other people or dogs.

At home, we both had a different personality. We were the kings and did not show any fear at all. Sometimes you and your biting habits caused me serious problems.  Therefore, I could never have you unleashed when we walked in the park; a park that you believed was just yours.  So, even though training with other dogs was not your thing, it was your only charlie2chance to run freely, play and release all your energy. And despite having to be with other people and dogs, I could tell that you loved getting in the car and going there because we always managed to find time to play just the two of us. I still remember that you would always get crazy when you heard  Doc’s car (Doc is a friend who always drove us to the training court) and as soon as I opened the front  door you would jump into the car like a bolt of lightning.

Then, one day, I got a job and we could no longer continue with our training sessions.  I had to work from 7am to 2pm, so our routine changed dramatically. I started taking you out for a walk as charliesoon as I had come home from work, even before having lunch. But it was not the same. It was not enough. Since I started working, your activity levels got reduced to just two walks in the park and always with a leash. Soon you began to accept your new but rather passive lifestyle; however, I was aware that you were bored and unhappy.

Fortunately, that situation was not going to last for long. Suddenly, you were offered a new place to live in. This place was bigger and it had lots of green areas. This place was as large as our park and there you were going to run freely again. It was going to be your new home. You were going to have a new family that loved dogs and that was going to give you as much love and care as I did. Of course, I gave it a lot of thought, and even though I knew I was going to miss you a lot and it was going to be hard and painful, my heart knew it was the best thing to do. You were going to be much happier there and have a better quality of life.

charlie22222Finally,  a decision was made and you moved to your new house in the country. Yes, you had your own country house. I wish I had a house like yours. And you, who never liked other dogs, found yourself living and playing with other four-legged peers who soon became your new siblings. You always felt you were the special one, and you did receive a special treatment because you arrived before the others. There was only one old dog that was there before you, but then he passed away and you became the king of the house.

Since your new place was a little far from the city, I could only visit you once a year. However, time and distance didn’t seem to matter. You would always recognize me and 260062_10150212338484125_5461454_nwe would play together like the old times. Even though you moved to that new home, I still considered you my dog an35039_100401160015276_8003236_nd would talk to people about you as if you were still my pet.  Even your new family would say you were my dog. And yes, that owner-pet relationship never got broken.  That was so obvious when I visited you. We never had to “break the ice.”  We had the magic to reconnect as soon as we saw each other, as if we had never been apart.

We indeed had a strange relationship, but we never stopped being best friends. Now, you’ve moved again.  Goodbye Charlie, run freely in heaven.

Vocabulary

1. get off on the wrong foot (exp): start something badly. Ex: I got off on the wrong foot with the new neighbor, but after a while we became good friends.

2. bond (n): a close connection joining two or more people. Ex: Mothers and their children have a special bond.

3. unleashed (adj) : without a leash (leash: a long piece of leather, chain or rope used for holding and controlling a dog). Ex: In some parks it is forbidden to have dogs unleashed.

4. bolt of lightning (n): lightning that appears as a white line in the sky. Ex: The house was struck by a bolt of lightning.

5. the country (n): any area outside towns and cities, with fields, woods, farms, etc. Ex: We spent a lovely day in the country last weekend.

6. four-legged (adj) : something that has four legs.  Ex: Dogs are four-legged animals.

7. pass away (v): die   Ex: His grandfather passed away in 1999.

8. break the ice (exp) :  to say or do something that makes people feel more relaxed, especially at the beginning of a meeting, party, etc. Ex: They played a party game to break the ice.

speakeando22

Do you have a pet? What kind of pet do you have? What do they mean to you?

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in_at_on21

WOULD for repeated actions in the past

People sometimes refer to events that happened repeatedly in the past but don’t happen anymore now. A good way to describe these actions is by using the modal verb WOULD. Let’s take a look at WOULD to talk about repeated actions in the past.

Examples:

  1. When I was young, I would always play soccer with my friends on the weekends.
  2. Every time I was in a party, I would smoke.

Here, the person is talking about things that he or she did many times in the past, but now they don’t do them anymore.

This is the principal function of WOULD. However, it cannot be used in some situations:

1. When we talk about repeated events in the past, we cannot use WOULD in questions.

Examples:

  • When you were a kid, would you play soccer with your friends on the weekend? INCORRECT

 Instead we can use ¨used to.¨

  • When you were a kid, did you use to play soccer with your friends on the weekend? CORRECT

2. We cannot used WOULD with some verbs such as live, be, have, etc.

Examples:

    • We never say:X

I would live in Lima when I was a kid. 

  • Instead, we say:green-tick

I used to live in Lima when I was a kid.

  • We never say:
    X

I would be bored when I was in class.

  • Instead, we say:
    green-tick

I used to be bored when I was in class.

  • We never say:  X

I would have a cat when I was a kid.

  • Instead, we say:green-tick

I used to have a cat when I was a kid.

NOTE:

Neither ‘used to’ nor ‘would’ can be used to refer to single actions in the past. 

In 2002 I went to Miami. (one event in the past)

In 2002 I would go to Miami. (WRONG)   X

In 2002 I used to go to Miami (WRONG)  X

Advertising: The unreal reality

Mary Jane, a twenty-year-old woman, was waiting in line for about 20 minutes. She, like other people, was in a fast food restaurant which had just released a new hamburger. On a display screen, this ¨dish¨ looked really scrumptious and she started to drool. After being there for almost an eternity and feeling that her stomach was about to explode, she got at the cashier and asked for the meal she had been waiting for. To her disappointment, she just got a mere piece of what she had seen on the display.

This is a good example of how deceitful advertising can be. How many times have we been deceived by this kind of lie?   Well, it is well-known that companies distort the reality in order to sell their products, but how long is it going to last? Is there a boundary? Unfortunately, the answer is uncertain. While some researchers say, ¨people will still consume products since they have a need for them, ¨ there is another group of people that claims that we have the power to decide and select. We, as costumers, can manage to control this entire situation. We are entitled to accept or refuse what is offered and sold to us.

It’s really a pity when kids cry when their superheroes or their beautiful and graceful dollies are not the ones they saw advertised on TV. But not only kids are victims, adults also are affected by this situation. For example, it is funny to see when men and women buy these fat reduction creams thinking that they are going to get in shape by rubbing this ¨magic substance¨ onto their bodies. You’ll probably think that I am mocking at them. But it is not what it seems because I have also experienced these events during my life.

It seems that everybody has been persuaded to buy something and ended up with the other side of the coin. We know that everybody has necessities for food, entertainment, and clothing. It is in these situations that companies play with these necessities with only one purpose: to increase their sales. Our mission, from my humble opinion, should be to state who is the one in control: companies or us. It’s just a matter of taking the plunge and beginning to ask for what is offered should be same to what is sold. So, from now on, think twice before running to a store or a restaurant to get what you just saw on a billboard or TV. You‘ll probably be part of the statistics of people tricked by publicity.

Vocabulary

Scrumptious (adj): An informal way to say delicious. EX. This hamburger is really scrumptious.

Drool (v): To produce saliva in excess. EX. The dog was drooling because it was hungry.

Deceitful (adj): Dishonest. EX. Tabloids just publish deceitful news.

Distort (adj): To change something so that it is not clear or true. EX. companies distort the reality in order to sell their products

Boundary (n): A real or imaginary line that shows a limit. EX. Countries are separated by boundaries.

Be entitled to (exp): To have the right to do something. EX. With all his experience, only he was entitled to give an opinion about the situation.

Rub (v): To spread a liquid or cream over a surface by pressing pressing the substance firmly.

Have you ever been deceived by advertising? What happened? What did you do?

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SUPERLATIVES

Superlatives are commonly used in advertising.

Ex: We have the BEST burger.

Our car is the FASTEST.

FORMATION OF SUPERLATIVE ADJECTIVES

Words with one syllable : add –est

Ex: long – longest           fast – fastest                     tall – tallest

Words with  one syllable, ending in E: add – st 

Ex: nice – nicest              late – latest                       fine – finest

Words with one syllable (CONSONANT – VOWEL – CONSONANT) : double the LAST consonant  and add -est:

Ex: hot – hottest  big -biggest                     fat – fattest

Words with two syllables,  ending in Y : change y to i, then add –est

Ex: happy – happiest          easy – easiest                  silly – silliest

Words with two syllables or more, not ending in Y : use “most” before the adjective

Ex: beautiful – most beautiful            modern – most modern              intelligent – most intelligent

With some 2-syllable adjectives, we can use ‘-est’ or ‘most’:

  • clever → the cleverest/most clever
  • simple → the simplest/most simple

There are also some irregular forms:

good – the best                  bad – the worst              far – the farthest/the furthest

So, if you have doubts, always check in a dictionary.

VALENTINE’S DAY AFTERMATH

The consequences of celebrating Valentine’s Day:

1. Traffic chaos: Even though most Valentine’s Days are on weekdays, people go out as if it were a Saturday night. This is why you see lots of couples and groups of friends going out to dinner, to have some drinks, or to dance. As a result, there are long lines of cars and buses and it takes you twice as much time to go to your long-awaited destination. Furthermore, cab drivers take advantage of the situation and charges you more because they know you are desperate to arrive on time wherever you are planning to go.

2. Boom for florists: No one can deny that most people like to buy flowers on Valentine’s Day. We can buy flower arrangements, flower bouquets, boxes of roses, etc. Good for florists and their businesses. But, what if it’s your mom’s birthday and you’d like to surprise her with a lovely colorful arrangement, you will risk of paying a lot more than you would on an ordinary day. Besides, there’s also the possibility that all the shops will have sold everything by the time you make the call to place your order.

3. Only hearts, hearts and more hearts:  If you want to buy a cute, meaningful and original birthday card, I’ll wish you the best of luck since 98% of the cards will be filled with I LOVE YOU, YOU ARE SPECIAL, MADLY IN LOVE, etc. Birthday, congratulations and thank you cards are scarce and most of them are ugly and dull. However, the Valentine’s virus goes beyond cards. Imagine it’s your father-in-law’s birthday and you are in charge of getting the cake. So, you go to the bakery and to your surprise all you can see are heart-shaped cakes.  Even if you loved your father –in-law greatly as if he were your own dad, it’d be a rather awkward present.

4. The odyssey of eating out:  You have to be very brave and adventurous to go to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. If you haven’t made a reservation, you’ll probably have to wait for at least an hour to get a decent table. But the waiting doesn’t stop there. You’ll have to wait long for your orders and later to get the check. Will the food and service be worth the waiting? Not most of the time.  On Valentine’s Day all the restaurant staff are running like crazy hurrying things up neglecting the high quality they are used to offering on a regular day. And if you’re planning on ordering food, stock yourself with plenty of snacks because your food will be at your door at dawn.

I don’t intend to discourage you from celebrating Valentine’s Day. I’m quite positive that despite these few negative aspects of this holiday, people who really enjoy this day always manage to have a wonderful Valentine’s celebration with their beloved ones, and I’m really happy for them.  As for me, I’ll continue to celebrate my mom’s birthday every February 14th.

VOCABULARY LIST

1. aftermath (n) : the consequences or the situation that exists as a result of an important (and usually unpleasant) event, especially a war, an accident, etc  Ex: We were looking at some devastating photos of the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake.

2. weekday (n) : any day of the week except Saturday and Sunday  Ex: On weekdays I get up at 6 am.

3. long-awaited : expected for a long time   Ex: Oliver Stone’s long-awaited film didn’t meet his fans expectations.

4. boom (n) : a period of sudden economic growth, especially one that results in a lot of money being made  Ex: Lately there has been a boom in iPad sales.

5. arrangement (n) : a group of things that have been put in a particular order or position  Ex:  Patty had a beautiful arrangement of dried flowers in her kitchen.

6. madly (adv) : extremely, very   Ex: She’s madly in love with Tom.

7. scarce (adj) : not easy to find or get, insufficient to meet the demand  Ex: After the earthquake food and clean water were scarce.

8. dull (adj) : not interesting, boring  Ex: I didn’t finish reading her last book because it was pretty dull.

9. awkward (adj) : making you feel embarrassed, uncomfortable   Ex:  She felt awkward  meeting his husband’s ex-wife.

10. odyssey (n) : long journey with a lot of adventures or difficulties   Ex:  Exploring the Amazon jungle on foot was a real odyssey.

11: check (n): a list that you are given in a restaurant showing what you have eaten and how much you must pay, bill   Ex: Can I have the check, please?

12. neglect (v) : to give not enough care or attention to people or things that are your responsibility   Ex: She has neglected her studies since she started working.

13 dawn (n): the time at the beginning of the day when light first appears   Ex: I get up  just before dawn because I go  jogging before I go to work.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s day? What do you usually do? Are there things that you don’t like about Valentine’s Day? Do you celebrate something else on February 14th?

Love Idioms and Expressions

fall for (someone) : to begin to feel love for someone                                                           Ex: Mary always falls for the wrong guy.

go dutch : to go on a date where each person pays half of the expenses                         Ex: Young couples often go dutch when they go on a date.

go steady : to date one person regularly  Ex: Tom and I have been going steady for one year now.

have a crush (on someone) : to have strong feelings of love for someone, usually for a short time .  Ex: When I was at kid I had a crush on my neighbor.

head over heels in love with (someone) : to be very much in love with someone         Ex: Mike is head over heels in love with his fiancée.

pop the question :to ask someone to marry you                                                              Ex: After dating Mary for more than two years, Jeff dared to pop the question.

puppy love : feelings of love between young people that adults don’t  think is very serious Ex: Jane and Bill thought that their love was the greatest in the world, but their parents knew it was only puppy love.

tie the knot : to get married                                                                                                Ex: Mary and Jeff  are planning to tie the knot next year.

THE ADVENTURE CALLED JOB INTERVIEW

Ring! Ring! Ring! After three months of going through the classified ads of his local Sunday paper, Alex finally got the call he was expecting for so long.  He had been selected for a job interview. Why did it take him so long? Well, he hadn’t been able to apply to a lot of institutions because he did not fulfill all the requirements of their different positions. First, Alex was in his thirties and most of the jobs were for people in their early twenties. Second, most of the positions required Alex to have two or four years of experience. He had finished college two years ago and had just presented his thesis, and therefore, he did not have such experience.  However, Alex’s perseverance paid off and he was awarded with an opportunity to demonstrate the world that he had all the skills and personal traits to succeed in anything he set his mind to.

The day before his interview Alex checked if he had everything ready. His shoes were as brilliant as a mirror and he had picked up his nicest suit from the laundry. He had also bought a new tie that matched the light blue shirt his grandma got him for Christmas. Then, he stood in front of the mirror rehearsing different handshakes and ways to introduce himself. He also went over the possible questions he might encounter at the interview and pretended to answer them as if he were practicing for an audition.

The expected day finally arrived. Alex woke up very early, took a shower, got dressed and went out without having breakfast. He was just too nervous to eat. He arrived at the building where the interview was going to take place thirty minutes early. Watching other people waiting to be interviewed for the same job made him more nervous and anxious.  “Alex Costa, you go next.” said the receptionist.  With a very timid “thank you” Alex headed to the office of the General Manager of the company he dreamt of working for.

The General Manager asked Alex about his educational background, why he wanted to work there, what his strengths and weaknesses were, what other interests he had and what his salary expectations were. Alex answered some of those questions in a very confident way. However, when talking about his strengths and weaknesses, Alex was afraid he might appear too vain or inappropriate for the job if he was too sincere. Also, when discussing his salary expectations, Alex didn’t want to sound too cheap, but he didn’t want to sound too unrealistic, either. All in all, the interview went well and Alex was sent to Human Resources where he had to take a little test.

What was the test about? He was given a booklet with different exercises. First, Alex had to draw several pictures. He remembered his friends telling him about these drawings and he followed his friends’ advice even though he didn’t see the purpose of drawing a line under a man since he was asked to draw just a man, not a man standing on the floor. Likewise, he didn’t understand why he had to draw a boat with the sea underneath it since the task was to draw just a boat, not a boat sailing on the sea. Then, he had to answer some questions about some hypothetical situations. For example, he was asked what he would bring to a desert island if he could only bring three objects. Trying to leave a great impression he answered all the questions without seeing the point of what they had to do with the position he was applying for. He didn’t believe that drawing a man or imagining he were on a dessert island made him a better or worse financial analyst.  So, after handing the booklet with all his drawings and answers, Alex was told that they were going to call him within the next three days to let him know if he was the new asset of that institution.

Finally, after such a long morning, Alex went home a little more relaxed, prepared himself a nice late breakfast and the wait for the second magical “ring, ring, ring” had started.

VOCABULARY LIST

1. fulfill (v) : to do or have what is required or necessary  Ex: Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the bulletin board in order to apply for the scholarship.

2. in his thirties/ (twenties) (exp) :  between the ages of 30 and 39 / (between the ages of 20 and 29)  Ex: I think she must be in her twenties because she’s about to finish college.

3. pay off  (v) : to turn out to be profitable, effective, successful  Ex: His efforts finally paid off and he got promoted.

4. trait (n) : a characteristic, quality  Ex: Being punctual is one of his best traits.

5. rehearse (v) :  to practice a play, a piece of music, etc. in order to prepare it for public performance / to prepare in your mind or practice privately what you are going to do or say to somebody   Ex: On her way to his interview Alex rehearsed what he was going to say.

6. head (v) : to move in a particular direction  Ex: We were heading to the beach when the accident happened.

7. background (n) : the details of a person’s family, education, experience, etc  Ex: His background was in advertisement.

8. strength (n) : a good characteristic or quality   Ex: Patience is one of her strengths.

9. weakness (n) :  a personal defect   Ex: His greatest weakness is his lack of self – confidence.

10. Human Resources (n) : the department in a company in charge of employing and training people   Ex: To apply for this position, send your resume to Human Resources.

11. booklet (n) : a small book usually having a paper cover   Ex: The CD comes with a colourful booklet that contains photos of the band.

12. within (prep) : inside or not further than an area or period of time   Ex: I will send the letter within the week (= before the end of this week).

13. asset (n) : a person or thing that is valuable to somebody/something  Ex: Linda will be a great asset to our team.

Have you ever had any funny experiences at a job interview? What do you think about psychological tests? How do you prepare yourself for a job interview?

Send us your comments, opinions and any kind of feedback to goesling.wordpress@gmail.com. You can either write us an email or send us a voice message.

ONOMATOPOEIAS

¨Ring! Ring! Ring! After three months of going through the classified ads of his local Sunday paper, Alex finally got the call he was expecting for so long.¨

By reading the first line, we can infer that the word ring refers to the telephone. This is what we call onomatopoeias, that is, words that denote sounds of objects or animals.

Let’s go through some examples:

Zip: It is an example of onomatopoeia because it is the sound the zipper makes when you move the zipper 

Boom: The classic sound when a bomb explodes. It denotes the sound.

Hiss: You’ll hear that sound when you are next to a snake.

Knock: Can you see who is at the door? I’m hearing the knocks coming from it.

Meow: Meow, meow said the cat waiting for milk.

Can you guess what objects or animals produce these sounds?

Arf

Quack

Splat

Hush

The Power of the Imagination

Your day breaks with the sound of your alarm clock which was set for 6 o’ clock. So it starts to go off and you stop it as usual. Then you take a shower and have breakfast and there you are. Your routine has just started. Now you are probably in your car or on your bus on your way to your destination, but let’s stop and change our routine for a moment and start to recall the years when we were kids. Let’s remember those days when playing around and using our imagination were our delightful routines.

Do you remember the time when you loved to imitate your favorite heroes you watched on TV? Perhaps you were one of those kids who wore the table cloth on their backs as if it were your cape and imagined you were Superman or maybe you were that kid who enjoyed climbing walls simulating you were Spiderman. I can continue with the list of superheroes. The question is what if just for a moment, we could play those games again or even better make those games become true and real.

I know it sounds crazy, but just let’s use your imagination and visualize yourself having one of the powers of your favorite heroes of your childhood. Imagine you can fly.  You would be able to avoid traffic. I am very sure some people would like to be invisible, so they could escape from some undesirable people. Some people would use that power to eavesdrop some conversations. Others would like to have the speed of Flash to go as fast as a beam of light. With that power people would be in different places in just a few minutes.

Another power that looks appealing would be the ability to stop time. With that power, I would stop time to take my friend’s pants off and he would end up without pants in the middle of a meeting or, even worse, in front of the girl he likes. The list of powers is endless and maybe at this moment you are thinking of what power you would like to have and what things you could do with it.

You may also be wondering at this moment what it has to do with our routines. Well, nowadays, there is more and more stress due to work and lots of people have lost their ability to use their imagination. Some people might say, ¨it is part of growing up.¨ I think it is an erroneous statement. The reason is simple and the fact is that we have a kid inside but we deny it. We don’t want the rest of the people to see that kid. You shouldn’t let that happen. Instead, allow yourself to dream and go beyond your everyday routine. You’ll enjoy it.

Vocabulary

Be set for: When you program your alarm clock for a certain hour. Ex. Even though my alarm was set for 6 o clock, I couldn’t hear it.

Go off (v): To start to sound. Ex. The burglar alarm started going off when the thief broke into the house.

Recall (v): To remember. Ex. My grandmother still recalls the time when she was young.

Undesirable (adj): Not wanted. Ex. Some medicines are effective but they have undesirable effects such as nausea.

Eavesdrop (v): To listen to a conversation by spying it. Ex. The maid eavesdropped behind the door and heard the entire plan.

Beam (n): A line of light. Ex. A laser beam can cut steal.

Appealing (adj): Attractive. Ex. The idea of earning money with that business was appealing to the old man.

Endless (adj): When something doesn’t have an end. Ex. How the world was created is and endless discussion among scientifics.

Erroneous (adj): Not correct. Ex. To say that global warming is not a consequence of pollution is an erroneous conclusion.

Who was your superhero when you were a kid? What would you do if you had one of those super powers now? Do you still let your ¨ kid inside¨ imagine?

Send us your comments, opinions and any kind of feedback to goesling.wordpress@gmail.com. You can either write us an email or send us a voice message.

THE SECOND CONDITIONAL

We use the Second Conditional  to talk about imaginary situations or things that are unlikely to happen.

If I were invisible, I would listen to other people’s conversations.                      (imaginary situation)

If I won the lottery, I would quit my job. (that’s very unlikely to happen)

THE STRUCTURE OF A SECOND CONDITIONAL SENTENCE

        IF CLAUSE                                        MAIN CLAUSE (RESULT)

If + past simple                                            would + infinitive

If  I had a car,                                    I would go to the beach more often.

If the  IF CLAUSE comes first, we should use a “comma”. However, if the IF CLAUSE comes second, we don’t need a “comma”.

I would go the beach more often if I had a car.

 We can also use COULD, MIGHT OR SHOULD instead of WOULD.

If Tom had a million dollars, he could go to Paris every weekend. (but maybe he would not)

If  I were you, I shouldn’t worry about the problem.

If Susan weren’t so annoying, she might have more friends.

As we can see in the various examples, with the verb TO BE we always use the form WERE whatever the subject.  (However, we may find people using WAS in informal situations)

When we use the verb TO BE in the IF CLAUSE, we can also use inversion.

If you were my son, I wouldn’t let you buy those shoes.

INVERSION: Were you my son, I wouldn’t let you buy those shoes.

UNDER THE WEATHER

The rich and the poor, men and women, Asian and European, we all get sick. No one can escape from getting sick and it’s pointless asking why. Even if you are a very clean person who follow a healthy diet and eat most of your food at home, one day you may end up with a stomach bug.

Nobody likes to be sick. So, it takes us time to face the ugly truth. However, our body can’t deny it and it’s, in fact, our body itself that  forces us to go to bed and remain inside it. Our brain doesn’t rule anymore, our body does. For example,  if it’s hot outside, but our body tells us that we are cold, we have to cover ourselves with our blankets.  Or if our family is eating the most delicious spaghetti with roast beef, but our stomach feels like chicken soup, that’s the only thing we are going to get.

It’s as if we suddenly had become a different person. We don’t feel ourselves anymore. We feel weak and we don’t want to do anything. Even our appearance changes, for example, we end up with a ghostly face or we lose weight to the point that our tight jeans become our baggy jeans.

Although we tend to think more about the downsides of being sick, there are some good things about having a fever or food poisoning. For example, you can get a little spoiled and people will be willing to do anything to cheer you up, like making you company or buying you a get well stuffed bear. Another positive aspect of being ill is that you don’t need to do anything around the house. On the contrary, the other members of your family are at your service bringing you your food, drinks, medicines and anything you need.

All in all, we have to admit that we are not machines and our bodies are prone to be attacked and beaten by ugly, tiny bugs, or maybe it is a signal that we just need a break from everything and our bodies just remind us so. So, if you get sick, be patient because you know it won’t last forever, and, in the meantime, enjoy the spoiling.

VOCABULARY

1. under the weather (ex) : slightly sick,  not as well as usual   EX: I’m going home early because I’m a bit under the weather

2. stomach bug (n) : a sickness caused by a virus or a bacteria and affects your stomach EX: I can’t eat anything heavy because I’m with a stomach bug.

3. feel like something (ex) : to want something    EX: I’m so hungry. I feel like pizza.

4. ghostly (adj) : looking like a ghost or a dead person   EX: You look so pale. Why the ghostly face?

5. tight (adj) : fitting closely to your body and sometimes uncomfortable  EX: These jeans are so tight that I can’t even breathe.

6. baggy (adj): hanging loosely because of being too big    EX: When I clean the house, I put on my baggy clothes because they are more comfortable.

7. food poisoning (n) : illness caused by poisonous or contaminated food    EX: Don’t go to that restaurant. Last time I was there I got food poisoning.

8. stuffed bear (n) : a toy in the shape of a bear, made of cloth and filled with a soft substance EX:  She has tons of stuffed bears on her bed.

9. prone (to sth/to do sth) (adj) : likely to suffer from something or to do something bad  EX: Children are prone to exaggerate when they tell stories.

When you get sick, do you go to the doctor? Why or why not? What’s the worst thing about being sick?  When was the last time you were sick?

REFLEXIVE PRONOUNS

A reflexive pronoun is a special kind of pronoun. It is usually used in special situations. Each personal pronoun has its own reflexive form.

FORMS

Personal Pronoun

Reflexive Pronoun

I

Myself

You (singular)

Yourself

He

Himself

She

Herself

It

Itself

We

Ourselves

You (plural)

Yourselves

They

Themselves

USES

Reflexive pronouns are used in three main situations.

  1. When the subject and object are the same.

I cut myself.
The gang call themselves “Street boys”.
He hurt himself.

  1. After a preposition when the subject and the object are the same.

I bought a chocolate for myself.
He did it by himself. (He did it alone.)
That woman is talking to herself.

  1. When you want to emphasize the subject.

Think for  yourself. (No one else will help you.)
They ate all the food themselves. (No one else had any.)

Oh No! Shopping again?

A new season has just begun and you, as usual, open your closet just to realize that a good part of your outfits are torn, old or, even worse, small for you. You might think that you have grown up or maybe it’s time to go to the gym, but in the meantime it’d be a good idea to renew your wardrobe. Here is where our adventure starts. I’ve heard comments that say that going shopping is a good way to release stress. Well, I doubt it since there is nothing more   stressful than going shopping.

In order to avoid any beefs, this is a personal opinion about the downsides of going shopping. It is not due to the lack of clothes for me; on the contrary, there are tons of clothes with different brand names and prices for my taste. My problem is that all this variety of prices and models makes my mind a bit blurry and it makes it difficult to take a decision

Going back to the topic, what really gets on my nerves is to spend priceless time of my life just in one store looking around, checking the tag prices and trying on all the candidates for my shopping car. This situation gets really worse when there are bargains and discounts and to get in the dressing rooms is practically impossible because they are too crowded. I get green with envy when some people get their clothes without trying them on first. They just pick up the clothes, skip the dressing rooms and go straight to the cashier to pay. I think that it’d be really great to have a life size dummy. I mean to have one with all your body measurements in any store to buy clothes more easily. It sounds crazy, doesn´t it?

I respect people who like going shopping either alone or in groups. It seems a very nice and enjoyable activity. But, in my case, I prefer to invest my time writing this post for those who suffer every time that going shopping is around the corner. I really feel sympathy for you guys. The only good thing is that once you get your clothes, the urge to go shopping won’t come back for a long and good time. Now it’s time to buy a new pair of shorts for this summer, bye!

Vocabulary

Outfit (n): Clothes. Ex. I’m wearing a new outfit for the party.

Torn (adj): Damaged Ex. My jeans were torn after being walking through the jungle.

Renew (v): To replace something old with something new. Ex. You should renew your car every 5 years.

Wardrobe (n): Clothes Ex. She spend lots of money on renewing her wardrobe.

Beef (n): A complaint. Ex. I was so disappointed with the service that I presented my beef to the boss.

The downside of something (expression): The disadvantage of something. Ex. The language barrier is a big downside of living abroad.

Lack (n): Shortage Ex. The lack of food is the main cause death in South Africa.

Green with envy (expression): Be jealous Ex. The kid was green with envy when his only brother received the chocolate.

Life size dummy (n): A mannequin. Ex. Many car companies use life size dummies to experiment with their cars.

How often do you go shopping? How do you feel when you go shopping? Why?

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Useful expressions when going shopping

When asking for help

  • Could you help me, please?
  • Excuse me, I’m looking for a/an

When paying

  • Do you take credit cards?
  • Do you offer a cash discount?

When asking for price

  • How much is this?
  • How much does this cost?

When trying on clothes

  • This is what I’m looking for.
  • It’s too long / short.
  • It’s too tight / loose.
  • It fits on me.
  • Do you have this in ___________(a different color/size)?

When Saying that the price is high

  • I can’t afford that.
  • That’s too much.

When  Bargaining

  • Could you give me a discount?
  • Could you reduce the price a little?
  • (Will/would) you take ___ dollars?
  • What about ___ dollars?
  • ¨XX dollars ¨ is my last offer. Take it or leave it.

When taking a decision

  • I’ll take this one, please.
  • I’ll take (one/five/a dozen) of these, please.